Uber driver charged with raping passenger during Vegas ride

Dec 24, 2021, 12:03 PM | Updated: 12:12 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An Uber driver is charged with raping a female passenger who police said fell asleep before waking up as she was attacked during a ride in metro Las Vegas.

Dawed Oumer Mekonene, 30, was arrested Tuesday and remained in jail Friday pending a court hearing on charges of sexual assault and battery by strangulation to commit sexual assault, according to Clark County Detention Center records.

Online court records didn’t list a defense attorney for the man who might comment on his behalf about the allegations but said he was represented by the public defender’s office. The office was closed Friday for the holiday.

An arrest report said Mekonene, after stopping to rape the out-of-state passenger, took her to her destination at an apartment complex, pulled her out of the car and threw her clothes and belongings at her.

The woman ran inside and asked the front desk for help, the report said.

According to the report, police used Uber records to identify the driver and obtained surveillance video showing the woman being dropped off.

Uber told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an email that it was working with police in their investigation.

“The details described by the rider are horrific, and we immediately deactivated the driver,” the Uber email said.

The company’s website says background checks are conducted on its drivers yearly to check for criminal and driving histories and “uses technology to look for issues in between” those checks.

Uber also allows users of its app to report safety concerns to local law enforcement.

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Uber driver charged with raping passenger during Vegas ride